101 East

Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown

We investigate why the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing migrant workers – the backbone of Malaysia’s economy – into hiding.

Hidden away in the COVID-19 pandemic are Malaysia’s migrant workers.

For years, they have done the country’s most dangerous, dirtiest jobs.

Now, undocumented foreign workers are scared for their future.

Out of work and forced to live in cramped conditions, some are starving and dependent on charities to survive.

The government has successfully contained the initial spread of the virus.

It has also put some of the poorest areas of Kuala Lumpur behind barbed wire – testing and fingerprinting migrants, and arresting anyone without valid documents.

101 East investigates why Malaysia’s migrant workers are at risk in the time of COVID-19.

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